A Look Back On The Makeup Of Princess Margaret, A Beauty Icon

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Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup Proves She Was An Early Adopter Of The Cat Eye

If you have a penchant for long, doll-like lashes and cat-eye liner, you have Princess Margaret's eye makeup to thank. The Countess of Snowdon and the only sister to Queen Elizabeth II was a trailblazer when it came to '50s and '60s makeup trends, and as one of the most famous women in the world, that had a funny way of making any style she favored that much more popular. A fan of Dior's waist-accenting New Look, rosy lipsticks, and dark lashes, looking back on the princess' style is like opening up a book on mid-century beauty trends.

Though as you undoubtedly know, this look is very much still in style today, as Netflix's The Crown proved. Vanessa Kirby, who played Margaret, told Vogue's Molly Creeden of the second Crown season's makeup: "By the end, she’s wearing bright blue, she’s got on this bright orange lipstick, and this hard-line flick of an eye. I mean, she’s so cool."

You'd be hard pressed to find that exact lipstick or liner now, though The Crown's lead makeup artist Ivana Primorac did share with Coveteur's Katie Becker which eye products made it into her kit. As far as mascara went, Primorac said their team had a preference for Dior's Diorshow Mascara ($29.50). "We used lots of different eyeliners," the artist noted. "Lots of MAC, lots and lots of Guerlain as well. And NARS, we love NARS."

Equipped with your favorite mascara and liner duo, you're all set to scroll through the princess' makeup journey. While she may've started with simple and fawn-like lashes, the royal evolved with the times, taking the makeup trends and making them her very own.

Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup In 1951


The royal's large eyes were one of her most striking features, and it's obvious that she learned how to accent them with mascara and manicured brows early on.

Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup In 1961

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Without a doubt, whichever mascara Princess Margaret was using in the '60s had to have been a best-seller.

Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup In 1965

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Here, you can see how the princess has added a barely there touch of dark liner at the corner of her eyes. Rather than a modern cat eye, the effect serves as a way to elongate her lashes, creating a shadow-like depth.

Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup In 1967


Pictured here with husband Lord Snowdon in the Bahamas, Margaret's doll-like eye makeup, cinched dress, woven bag, and airy hair bow are the epitome of off-duty '60s style. Thanks to the color in this photograph, you can see the princess' petal-pink lip color as well, which just so happens to match designs in her dress.

Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup In 1977


A hint of sheeny white eye shadow accents the royal's bejeweled accessories and creates a wide-awake effect. Paired with the monochromatic clothing and glossy lip, it's a '70s hit.

Princess Margaret's Eye Makeup In 1981

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Dramatic lashes and a glowy pink lip remained with Princess Margaret throughout the '80s and '90s, as seen beside Princess Diana in 1981.